A will is the traditional way for you to direct who eventually receives your property. Through a skillfully drafted will, your attorney can minimize any taxes and other costs that may be payable from your estate. Your will can also name an executor (personal representative) to carry out the directions in your will and help your family with any of the potential problems (business or personal) that may arise.
A carefully prepared will can provide security for beneficiaries who may not be qualified to manage and budget their inheritance. A trust in your will can guarantee your beneficiaries all the rewards and advantages of property ownership, with none of the burdens and frustrations. Trusts are arrangements in which assets are titled in the name of a trustee, who manages the trust assets and pays income to individuals named by you. You may choose to act as your own trustee, while naming a successor to assume the job if you are no longer able to do so.
The revocable living trust can be an effective estate planning tool for many people, providing privacy for one’s estate, financial management in times of disability, distribution of assets at death and reduced probate costs. Ownership of your assets will change over to the trust, but you retain the right to change or revoke the trust during your lifetime.
Your will or revocable living trust may be the best way for you to make a thoughtful gift to continue your support to charity. There are even ways to create payments for life for loved ones before the assets pass to charity.